Happy 16th Birthday Card by Natalie

posted in: Blog, natalie | 2

Hello there! My name is Natalie, and I’m thrilled to be part of The Little Paper Tree’s first ever design team. I live in Hampshire with my husband and two children and love making unique greetings cards and mixed media projects. I’m also an avid journaler and planner. My son will be turning 16 this month, so, for my first tutorial, I thought I’d make him a birthday card from some of the goodies available at The Little Paper Tree. All the supplies are linked below.


To start with, I used my trimmer to prepare all the card I needed. For my background, I cut a sheet of 270gsm Bristol paper down to 4.5 x 5.5 inches. Next, for my mount, I cut a piece of black card so that it was slightly bigger than the background piece. Lastly, I created a 5 x 7 inch card base from one A4 sheet of kraft cardstock.


To create my background, I applied distress inks to the Bristol paper using the ink blending tool and foams. I covered the whole piece with the lightest colour first – Victorian Velvet – before adding a smaller amount of Hickory Smoke and then a generous layer of Rusty Hinge. Next, I sprayed a fine mist of water over the background, then quickly mopped it up with kitchen towel and dried it with a heat tool. This gave it a nice, grungy look.


Once the background had cooled down, I used an old gift card to spread Mother of Pearl Nuvo Embellishment Mousse through a Tim Holtz Mini Layering Stencil. Once the mousse had set, I stuck two strips of the Purple Grey Airmail Washi Tape about one third of the way up the background, making sure the stripes lined up properly.  To add the sentiment, I printed the words ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ on a sheet of printable vellum, trimmed it to size and stuck it onto the dried background by folding it over the edges and taping it to the back. I then took the ‘16’ from the ‘Numbers’ pack of Freckled Fawn Wood Veneer Chips and used a water brush to add a delicate wash of Hickory Smoke and Rusty Hinge Distress Inks. After this wash had dried, I used the waterbrush again to paint on a little Mother of Pearl Nuvo Embellishment Mousse to give it some shimmer. I adhered the woodchip to the card using Matte Gel Medium.


To add a little extra depth to the card, I gently burnised the edges of the raised Embellishment Mousse with more Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and added Nuvo White Blizzard Glitter Drops across the card to marry all the different elements. Lastly, I assembled the card using my tape runner to glue it all together.

So there you have it! I hope my son likes it. The wood veneer chips are a fun way of adding a person’s age to a card. Have you got any significant birthdays coming up?


Want to find these supplies?


Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks: Victorian Velvet, Hickory Smoke and Rusty Hinge

Tim Holtz Mini Layering Stencil THMS026 from Set 4



Strathmore Bristol Paper Pad

Bazzill Licorice Twist Cardstock

Bazzill Classic Kraft Cardstock

Crafters Companion Vellum Printable Paper



Nuvo Mother of Pearl Nuvo Embellishment Mousse



Nuvo White Blizzard Glitter Drops

Freckled Fawn Purple Grey Airmail Washi Tape

Freckled Fawn Wood Veneer Chips



Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium – Matte

Tape Runner



Ranger Non Stick Craft Sheet

Fiskars Paper Trimmer A4

Ranger Ink Blending Tool and Foams

Ranger Distress Sprayer

Nuvo Aqua Flow Water Brushes

Heat tool/Hairdryer




2 Responses

  1. Laura Whelan
    | Reply

    Its fab! It’s perfect for a teenage boy – which are usually hard to design for. I’m sure he’ll love it!

  2. Margaret McGettigan
    | Reply

    Lovely card Natalie, the embossing is a nice addition and inking it makes it more male appropriate. Thank you for the inspiration

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